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How Serious Is Gambling Addiction

How Serious Is Gambling Addiction

Do you have an uncontrollable urge to keep gambling? Are you or someone you care about secretly gambling when they actually can’t afford it? Gambling addiction relates to the persistent and compulsive urge to engage in harmful behavior. It is a medical and psychological issue that needs professional treatment.

We often associate the word “addiction” with drugs and alcohol. That’s precisely why it’s so simple to fall into the grips of gambling addiction. To understand the gravity of this affliction, it is necessary to grasp how it first develops.

The Severe Impacts of Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is associated with feelings of shame, lack of control, and helplessness. While most people start gambling for fun or money, they continue because they simply cannot stop. There has been a great deal of research on the effects of gambling addiction. Generally, pathological gambling impacts the following areas significantly.

Relationships

Compulsive gamblers spend the majority of their time away, may request financial resources from their connections, and have a tendency to think about gambling all the time. All of this, and more, have a negative impact on the quality of the addicts’ relationships.

What distinguishes gambling addiction is that it is frequently perceived as a lack of control on the part of the gambler rather than an actual psychological condition, leaving the gambler with little support to seek help.

Finances

It goes without saying that compulsive gambling has a negative impact on an individual’s financial stability. Gamblers frequently begin with the intention of making more money but end up losing more than they started with. They may resolve to take out loans that they are unable to repay.

On the extreme end, they may choose to obtain funds through illegal means. It is also not uncommon for compulsive gamblers to spend money saved for important events such as their children’s college tuition, rent, food, and so on.

Other Substance Addictions

Gambling addiction frequently coincides with addiction to other substances such as alcohol and dangerous drugs. Gamblers may even develop these habits as a coping mechanism to deal with the stress of gambling. Managing a gambling obsession becomes much more difficult when combined with other, more directly harmful addictions.

Emotional Consequences

Compulsive gamblers frequently suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, lack of confidence, stress, hopelessness, and a sense of loss of control. Dealing with the highs and lows of excessive gambling can be difficult, but what is even more troubling and exhausting is wanting to be in control while dealing with the problem’s compulsiveness. Many people avoid and delay treatment because they believe they do not have a problem.

Addiction or Uncontrolled Behavior?

Gambling addiction affects millions of people worldwide. People lose their families, careers, and everything they’ve worked for their whole lives as a result of it. There is some debate surrounding the qualification of compulsive gambling as an addiction. However, current research points to a progressive increase in symptoms and consequences that places gambling addiction with other substance abuse-related disorders.

Betting addiction, also known as “pathological gambling condition” in the scientific community, is a common disorder associated with low self-esteem, comorbid substance abuse, financial difficulties, and relationship problems.

The emergence of this problem has been explored by experts in psychology and neuroscience. In behavioral and cognitive theories, irrational thinking and gambling addiction are inextricably linked. Neurobiological findings point to issues with the chemical reward system in the brain. Some research also suggests that there may be a genetic component that contributes to a person’s addiction.

These findings demonstrate that, while gambling activity may appear to be entertaining and pleasurable, its addiction pathway is quite similar to that of other chemical addictions, and its origin is founded in a biopsychological framework.

How Can One Get the Right Help?

Gambling addiction has a far-reaching, negative impact on a person’s life. Coming off the crutches of such an addiction can be a long and exhausting journey. However, no matter how severe the impact, there is always hope for change.

Making the decision to seek help for a gambling addiction requires both courage and hope. A strong social support network that keeps you accountable and supported is vital when trying to cope with a gripping addiction such as this. Doctors may prescribe anxiety medication to help addicts deal with compulsiveness. However, getting therapy and joining support groups is the go-to method of dealing with a gambling addiction.

Final Thoughts

Gambling addiction as a diagnosis may or may not be widely accepted in the medical community. Still, there is no doubt that it has a detrimental effect on a person’s self-esteem, relationships, and overall well-being. However, all is not lost in a world of bright shiny numbers. Therapy and support groups are accessible and evidence-based ways to get help and improve!

About Author

Dana Cull

Dana is a digital content creator with a self-confessed obsession with writing. She is also an avid reader and loves to spend her leisure hours watching documentary films from different directors across the world.